The Laramie Fire Department added five new firefighters to the ranks last week. Brothers Jason Candler and Ryan Candler, Sage Blessing, Tanner Lee, and Garrett Lowham are part of Recruit Class 2023-02, who graduated on Aug. 25.

LFD Training Chief Gus Stonum said this class was a rarity. Normally the 11-week training classes are held in the spring and fall. “We generally have two classes of recruits a year. This year is an anomaly. We held the summer academy because we were pretty short-staffed, and got the ok from the city to hire five recruits.”

Stonum said two awards are given out per recruiting class. The Academic Award is based on best performance in the classroom and was presented to Blessing. The Top Gun Award is a voting effort: the lead training instructor and recruits vote for overall best leadership and fire ground skills, and was presented to Ryan Candler. 

The Candlers are the third set of firefighting brothers to join LFD. They join Booker and Dillon Kramschuster, and brothers-in-law Carson and Dillon Schilt.

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Jason Candler has always thought about being a firefighter. After achieving his emergency medical services basic credentials (EMT), he began driving provisionally for LFD. Each call amounted to more appreciation for the job, and he was selected on his third attempt, in correlation with his younger brother Ryan, “which was pretty cool even though he made it on his first try,” Jason said.  

“LFD is my hometown it’s where I want to be. My brother would ask questions about the things I got to do and be a part of and how I liked them. He would ask about the dynamics of the station how the shifts worked and how welcomed you were. I always felt welcomed by everyone from working transfers to EMT class or working standby shifts for sporting events. That was definitely a big factor in wanting to work with LFD and getting to go through it with my brother was a bonus," Jason added. 

Stonum knows this speaks to the quality of the department, and says it’s “Good kudos that they tell their brothers,” and contribute to the LFD efforts.

Dowlin Ditch Project

The City of Laramie plans to reconstruct the Dowlin Diversion Dam. The project will aid with water and wildlife management, and possible recreational opportunities in the future.